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Economy

Ministries spend Sh4 billion on training

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Ministries and State agencies blew Sh3.9 billion on internal training in the year ended June with little justification as the government delays retirement of workers due to skills shortages.

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo says in her latest report that taxpayers spent Sh1.1 billion more on staff training in the period to June, up from Sh2.8 billion in the previous year.

The rise in expenditure on trainings raises queries on value to taxpayers as over-age employees continue to draw salaries due to lack of replacements.

A public service report released in May showed 1,707 government employees in managerial and technical positions are past the retirement age of 60 but have been retained due to a skills shortage that hampered their replacement.

Data from the Controller of Budget shows the State Department for Public Service and Youth Affairs spent 951.2 million on training staff, topping the list of high spenders.

The State Department of Interior came in second with an expenditure of Sh825 million, followed by the Ministry of Health Sh212 million.

The public service report showed retained workers who are aged above 61 account for 0.57 per cent of the government’s workforce, excluding Teachers Service Commission workers and those in State agencies.

The report says the skill shortage challenge has partly been addressed through retention of staff beyond the mandatory retirement age in order to allow more time to mentor successors.

The government, in an effort to fast-track graduates into executive roles to seal the skills gap, will introduce a management trainee scheme next year.

Aside from this, it intends to trigger promotions and review blanket ban of fresh hiring to ease effects of the ageing workforce.

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